It is quite easy to offend the typical Nigerian when you refer to what they’re wearing as “local”. You’re more likely to get a negative response from a typical Nigerian when you go “Hey, you’re looking local”. This is due to the negative perception attached to locally designed wears.
Despite the rise of African fashion internationally, a good number of Nigerians still prefer to go for foreign brands such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Versace, Lui Vuitton among others.
With some of the world’s top fashion designers and brands coming from Nigeria, it becomes puzzling why Nigerians still haven’t gained the level of confidence that is expected their locally designed wears.
Taking an in-depth look at consumer behaviour and perception in the country, the following reasons can be given for the poor outlook and patronage of local fashion by Nigerian.
This is the chief reason Nigerians give when it comes to buying locally made fashion items. Over the years Nigerian fashion has gained a bad reputation, as most Nigerian wears ranging from clothing to shoes and bags do not last as long as their foreign counterparts. Nigerians would rather buy a UK made shoe that will last for years than buy a locally produced one that will only last for some months.
One would expect made in Nigeria fashion to be cheap in the country. But that is not the case, a made in Nigeria dress, for instance, comes with a high price tag due to the low demand for such locally made wears. The designer increases the price to make as much profit as possible from the few customers available. The result is that Nigerians find it difficult to buy locally made fashion wears.
Another reason for high prices is that in Nigeria’s fashion industry, there are many middlemen who raise the prices of outfits. Nigerians interface more with these intermediaries rather than the actual designers themselves and what they encounter are ridiculously high prices.
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